Category Archives: Guest posts

The Forget-me-not

To celebrate my blog’s fourth birthday, I decided to give everyone a rest from my prattling and instead hand over to a guest contributor – and not just any guest poster, oh no. This wonderful, funny tale of a brief encounter, which I knew I had to have for the blog as soon as I heard it, comes from none other than my wonderful, funny boyfriend. Take it away, handsome…

It’s Friday night, and “the girls” are on the town. I’m with my friend James and his mate Chris, who I’ve not met before, and the scene could not be more like the start of Grease if a load of girls in pink jackets appeared and started singing Summer Nights.

Chris, you see, is in love. He’s just met Dan, and he’s keen to tell us more, tell us more.

“He’s just perfect,” he sighs. “HOT. Amazing body. Perfect kisser. Great sex. And he’s so into me. I think we might have a real future together. I just can’t believe my luck!”

James and I, painfully single, each raise an eyebrow. Frankly, we can’t believe his bloody luck either. And to put the tin lid on it, this God of a gay is on his way to join us, so we’ll have to watch them getting off with each other all night.

A couple of drinks later and Chris perks up even more when his beloved arrives.

As he walks towards us, we see that Dan is indeed HOT, with an amazing body. And I realise that I know exactly  how perfect a kisser he is, because I had been suctioned to that oh-so-beautiful face mere months earlier.

“You know who that is, don’t you?” I whisper to James.

He nods wearily, having been one of the unfortunate witnesses on the night Dan and I had made quite the spectacle of ourselves on the dance floor before vanishing into the night.

When Dan sits down beside me, it becomes clear that his memory is not quite as vivid. As we’re introduced, he regards me with suspicion.

“Have we met before?” he asks.

“I’m sure I would remember if we had,” I reply, icily.

Eventually, Chris and Dan head to the bar.

“Bloody hell,” I say to James. “He’s the last person I wanted to see.”

James smirks. “Really?” he says. “Didn’t you say he was the best sex you’d had in your life?”.

I scowl. “Well, yes. But I’m obviously the only one who thought so. He doesn’t remember me!”.

Dan returns, plonks himself back down and peers at me intently. “You look so familiar. Do you ever go out in Clapham?” he asks.

“I’ve only been there once,” I reply.

Dan will not be placated, and an hour of gentle interrogation follows. Eventually, he loses patience. “I’ve definitely met you before,” he says, just a bit too loudly. “Are you sure you don’t go to the Two Brewers?”.

It’s obvious I’m going to have to spell it out, so I lean in to remind him about the cold January night when he dragged me back to his Clapham lair and administered the best sex I’d had in my life.

Suddenly, Dan can remember our encounter only too clearly – right down to the phone call he made the following afternoon, not quite accusing me of stealing his Vue Cinema unlimited pass.

“I’m sorry I never called you,” he tells me. “It was a big mistake. Can I see you again?”

A-well-a-well-a-well-a-HUH?

I glance at Chris, who gazes adoringly at his new love, even as he puts the moves on me. Do I really want to be him? Looking on while my beautiful boyfriend blatantly chats up other men?

I consider this for a moment and, remembering the best sex I’d had in my life, decide that yes, I absolutely want to be him.

Last orders are called. James and Chris head off to the cloakroom, leaving Dan and I alone at the bar.

“So, can I give you my number?” he begs.

“I have your number,” I laugh.

“Oh, yeah. Well, please give me yours then. I promise I’ll call you.” He asks to the barman for a pen and paper as Chris walks back toward us. “Write it down,” he whispers, urgently. “I’ll shake your hand when we leave and you can slip it into mine.”

Devious! He’s no first-time philanderer.

I take the paper, discreetly scribble on it, fold it up and pass it to Dan, as arranged. The happy couple leave – Dan gives me a cheeky wink as he goes, and Chris is none the wiser.

Do I feel guilty? Absolutely not! Just a bit sad that I won’t be there to see Dan’s beautiful face as he opens the piece of paper to read:

“You absolute bastard”.

Image: Flickr

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Guest post: Blindsided by Harry

Sometimes when you are cast adrift on the vast ocean of online dating, it feels like you are the only person in the world going through it. Nobody else, surely, is experiencing this lame conversation, those awkward drinks, that long trek home with a bellyful of boredom, regret and wine. It is, then, both heartening and depressing to know that dating disasters are happening the world over. And to prove it, here is a guest post, from a regular reader named Adam, who was pulled on that most romantic of places, the dance floor. But when the lights came on, was his dancing partner worthy of more than a quick tango of the tonsils? Take it away, Adam…

If I’m being honest, my expectations for this date aren’t high.

While a tall, dark stranger starting a drunken conversation with “You’re kinda hot” in the middle of a dance floor is traditionally seen as the first milestone in a long and happy life together, I have a quiet suspicion that Harry and I may not in fact be a match made in heaven. So when I give him my number and agree to go for a drink the following week it’s more out of curious optimism than undeniable chemistry; after all not everyone makes the best impression while half-drunk and sweaty amid pounding techno, I tell myself.

The days running up to the drink reveal the first cracks in this blossoming romance, as Harry seems intent on being in constant communication with me despite the fact that it appears he doesn’t have a lot to say. (When the third text that Sunday afternoon arrives, asking, for a third time, ‘Hows you? x’, I decide it’s best not to reply.) I recheck my schedule in the vain hope that I’ve accidentally double-booked our date with plans to be struck by an asteroid but no luck. Maybe the date will be better, I tell myself. After all, not everyone makes the best impression via text.

As I make my way to the bar I realise that I’ve abstained from my typical espionage-worthy virtual background-check of Harry, proud that I don’t want to enter into the date with false preconceptions of him. The pessimist in me points out the only reason I haven’t gone looking is because I can’t actually remember if Harry was tall and dark or if the club was just… dark. Knowing somehow makes it worse.

In keeping with this pessimism, I’ve scheduled the date after a discussion on contemporary writing I’m attending in the same place, meaning even if Harry turns out to be as big a snooze in person as he is via text, the evening won’t have been a total washout. Following the conclusion of the talk, I work my way across the crowded bar to look for my date, scanning the room for someone hopefully handsome. The sight of the vaguely awkward figure exaggeratedly waving from a table in the middle of the room hits me like an anvil. Stupid lighting.

“Sorry I’m late, the Literature Society thing ran a couple of minutes over,” I interject as the awkward handshake/hug/kiss-greeting dilemma arises, using the opportunity to hurriedly sit down before he can lunge towards me.

“Literature society? That’s lame!” he guffaws as I stare back uncertain, not quite sure if he expects me to reply with “I know, I’m such a loser!” As he swaggers off to the bar to get the first round, I slump in my chair. Maybe he’s just nervous, I tell myself.

Upon his return, the conversation begins to move in circles. Every time Harry dislikes something about my personality he makes it perfectly clear. (For example, the fact that I run a website about video games elicits an outcry of “Nerd!”) The only problem is if I returned the favour it’d sound like I had Tourette’s; Harry reveals that he decided to study accounting at uni “for the money”, plays the clarinet, loves Cheryl Cole and describes his main hobbies as “dyeing my hair” and “sleeping all day”.

I can only imagine what my face must look like in response to this. Every attempt to engage with him about any of these subjects falls flat and the frustration quickly begins to creep in. The only thing I say about myself that receives any kind of meaningful response is when I talk about my autism, mentioning how it affects my daily life but has also gifted me with an ability to sense a squinty picture frame within fifteen miles. “I get what you mean in terms of having a disability,” he empathises, “y’know, cause I’m legally blind.”

“You’re blind…?” I would have most likely spat my drink in his face had I not already inhaled it upon its arrival, disappointedly tried to take a sip from the empty glass on no less than three occasions after that and then, somewhat embarrassingly, tried to subtly lick the ice cube for any remaining traces of alcohol.

“Yeah? Didn’t I already tell you?” The slightest suggestion of judgement filters into his voice.

“No, I think I would remember someone mentioning that they were blind. That’s the kind of thing you remember.” I begin to think back to the prior 15 minutes of mind-numbing discussion of accounting practices and wonder at what point exactly this was going to come up in our relationship had I luckily not been similarly disabled. “Well how blind are you exactly?”

“Well they won’t let me drive a car…” he ponders.

The fact that Harry’s partially sighted is in no way a dealbreaker for me; in many ways it’s the most genuinely interesting thing about him, which makes me feel a little sad at how disastrous this evening has been. The conversation rambles on for another half an hour or so – I lose myself in an existentialist analysis of breakfast cereals and briefly forget Harry’s still there – but the writing’s on the wall for this match-up. When he asks me out again at the end of the date I have to politely turn him down.

While he seems willing to look past all my glaring faults of lameness and geekery, I tell myself that I’m sadly not willing to do the same for him.

Adam Sorice is a literature student and writer who would much rather talk about Sabrina the Teenage Witch than Jane Eyre. His writing spans all kinds of pop culture, from The Legend of Zelda to Lady Gaga, and aims to explore cultural ideas regarding sexuality, gender and society.
Read more of Adam’s writing.

Guest post: Why my gay brother and I are friends

I know what you’re thinking. Am I really getting to the stage where I don’t even write my own posts? Is it about to get all Britney-esque, my contributions reduced to a bit of lip-synching and backing vocals? Well, no. Of course not. But here is a post about that age-old partnership that can withstand even the biggest tremors life can throw at it: a girl and the gay best friend. Sure, it’s a stereotype, but stereotypes exist for a reason.

The author of this guest post, Miranda Santiago, is a psychology major and freelance writer. She enjoys writing about dating topics, appealing specifically to relationships involving Latin women. Apart from writing, Miranda enjoys windsurfing, playing the piano and cheering on her favourite baseball teams.

There’s a new study that’s been published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology that claims it has explained the reason that straight women and gay men are friends.

If you’re like me, you probably cocked your head a bit when you read that. I was browsing the web when I saw this study making news all over the place. I didn’t know at first what it was, but something about the headlines made me uncomfortable, like a silent tugging on the back of my mind. I filed it away.

For those not in-the-know, Texas Christian University’s research essentially based itself around dating advice and trust. Their conclusion was that gay men are generally friends with straight women because it’s more conducive to their dating lives—straight men don’t work for them as friends because they only know how to give advice about women, and the same goes for lesbian women. Continue reading Guest post: Why my gay brother and I are friends

Guest post: Deciphering dating profile baloney

When you have trawled as many dating profiles as I have, it’s easy to become jaded and embittered. After a while, you wonder whether you are reading too much into what they say – every comma splice and superfluous adjective leapt upon and seen as a valid reason to chuck a guy on the reject pile. So I must offer a fresh pair of eyes, a new perspective – I’m presenting a guest post. And by a girl! I know, right? And I’m not even drunk.

Meet Laura McGreary, of Love Cup Online Dating. While she isn’t officially a dating expert (the only letters after her name are GSOH), she’s certainly done more than her fair share. After all, practice makes perfect. (And no, I’m not getting paid to put this up.) Laura, take it away…

“With more and more of us turning to the net to find love, dating profiles are becoming increasingly elaborate. Unfortunately, these dating versions of War and Peace make it pretty difficult to tell who wants a seedy one-night affair and who is looking to get hitched. Now, while some of us are most definitely looking for seedy, we can often get caught out by an inventive dating profile and instantly our hunk becomes the Elephant Man.

Fear not! I’m here to help you decipher that dating profile bullshit to make sure you always leave satisfied. As Karl Marx said “Masturbation is to sex as philosophy is to reality!”

Perception versus reality
To avoid disappointment when searching for a potential ‘mate’, try to take that pixel-perfect image with a pinch of salt. Rip down the digital veil that is an internet dating profile and imagine that person creating their profile. Sitting in their boxers. In their mum’s spare room. Is that perfectly posed default image starting to look a little fuzzier?

FACT! Research has shown that the less often people say ‘I’ in their dating profile, the more deceptive the profile is.

Say what?
Gay dating sites are full of elaborately exaggerated profiles and more often than not there are hidden meanings behind anything that is written, for example:

Discreet – This guy has a wife and kids and definitely doesn’t want them to find out about his extra curricular activities.
Taboo – Alarm bells! Unless you want someone to defecate on your chest or engage in paedophile role-play avoid this profile at all costs!
Twink – Being a self proclaimed twink is not acceptable. If this guy is over 21 and describing himself as a Twink you can guarantee he has a major case of age insecurity.
Submissive (but then goes on to list a thousand ‘wants’ from a potential partner) – Fancy doing all the work? Take this lazy bottom out for a date then!
Artsy/Misunderstood – suicidal/bi-polar.
Hipster – Read: complete douche!
Looking for my soul mate – This guy will stalk to you and tie you up in his basement.
Looking for a partner in crime – The only crime you will commit with this guy is his murder when you realise he is boring you to death.
Not very good at talking about myself – If you’re looking for someone who is completely social inept then this is the guy for you! If they can’t write a few lines about themselves how do you expect a date to pan out?
Just got out of a relationship – If they have to mention their previous relationship it was DEFINITELY traumatic.

FACT! People who lie on their dating profile will often use negation – e.g. “not boring” instead of “exciting”

Pixel perfect
If there is no photo, for the love of God, do not go there. He is either a) married b) hideous c) a scammer. Equally, photos seem one-dimensional but can divulge much more than you think. If he’s wearing a hat in all his photos he is definitely bald and upset about it. If he’s posing beside a sports car he probably has a small penis. And the car isn’t his.

As a general rule of thumb, add half a stone to the weight stated (unless it’s very high, then you can pretty much double it and bring a winch to the date) and take 3 inches off their height.

TIP! If they haven’t paid for full membership on a dating site, they certainly won’t be buying you a drink, or be generous in the sheets…

Oh, and if he uses ‘lol’ think very carefully about whether you want to spend any time with a guy that ‘laughs out loud’ at everything he says…”